This year, I’ve decided to take a more active role in one of my favorite charities. For years I’ve participated in my local Komen Race for the Cure as either a walker or runner or team captain, but 2011 is the year to step it up a bit. So I’ve volunteered to help by dedicating time to the survivor’s committee.
This is totally the best committee to be on – we get to have all the fun! Our primary goal is to celebrate the survivors on race day. I’ve volunteered to be in charge of decorations and even though the race isn’t until November 13th (register here!) I’m already in full planning and execution mode.
It’s a charity event so as you can imagine, we’re on a shoe string budget. We’ve had some wonderful vendors step up to donate food, photography and flowers for the event but we’re on our own as far as the rest of the decorations go. I’ve reached into my grab bag of cheap, high impact goodies and come up with a few ideas.
Pinterest has been a great help in providing ideas and visuals. I saw this idea for Christmas carols from the Katie Did blog:
I thought to myself, I bet I can repurpose that with inspirational Komen Race for the Cure phrases and really cover a lot of territory in the tent. So I picked up a pack of pink card stock at Office Depot for about $15 and dug out some old fishing line I have in my garage as well as a needle and some tape.
To begin, I brainstormed a few inspirational phrases like I am a survivor, I race because I can, cure ahead: Prepare to race, I race for my mother, I race for me, etc. You get the idea.
Katie cut out all her phrases free form, but I know I’m waaaay to OCD for that. Plus, I’m going for a clean crisp look. I decided to print out the letters and simply cut along the lines. I figure the lines are so fine that people aren’t really going to notice from far away.
I played around with many fonts trying to maximize the size of the letter and make sure that all the letters fit on the page. A font and size that works great for an ‘L’ might be too big for an ‘O’ or ‘C’. I finally settled on Bookman Antique font in bold, size 300.
In a moment of OCD madness, I then threw all the phrases into Excel and did a quick pivot table to give me letter counts. I figured I might as well print all the A’s at once and then move on to the B’s, etc. I did have to sort out all my phrases after I was done printing, but that only took a few minutes. Overall, I think it was faster than printing out each phrase separately. And, as a bonus, this allowed me to take advantage of the fact that some letters are narrower than others which enabled me to fit three I’s to a page, thereby saving paper. This was also a good double check to make sure that I had enough paper. My phrases in total ended up being about 150 pages of paper – I’ve still got 100 sheets left! (I’m sure I’ll find some use for it….)
I then carefully threaded the fishing line through each letter, making sure I was going in from the front of the letter and coming out from the back side. The leaves just a small piece of fishing wire in the front of the letter and a longer piece to tape on the back side.
Once I’d finished all my threading, I made sure to leave extra length at the beginning and end of the phrase so I’d have plenty of leeway when I went to hang the word art. Next, I laid the letters out to make sure I had the spacing right.
Sorry for the poor picture quality, I’ll be sure to post loads of pictures from the completed project!